Last year we dialed you in to the scene in Ashtabula County, where a budget shortage threatened to turn the county into a police-less state of vigilantism, or, as our in-house legal expert (bartender) termed it: bad shit waiting to happen.
Due to a funding crunch, the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Department was forced to lay off a number of its deputies; with the state reps sidelined, Judge Alfred Mackey told citizens they should arm themselves for protection, creating an orgy of untrained chest-puffing self policing. In one startling instance, a volunteer posse rounded up a wanted criminal. No one shot themselves in the foot, or anything.
The good news now is that the proper authorities are back on the job. According to the Ashtabula Star Beacon, the new county budget will allow for five deputies to eventually return to work.
Sheriff William Johnson said he will follow the labor agreement in recalling deputies and expects to have them in place by the end of March. Johnson said the appropriations should, with some shifting of funds among line items, give him enough money to operate with 65 full-time and three part-time employees for the balance of 2011.